The Risks and Rewards in Hiring

There is a delicate balance between risk and reward in all aspects of business. Hiring can be one of the areas that intimidate many hiring managers. However, you can reduce the risks and increase the overall rewards by using some ideas shared in the following article.



Hiring is an investment in your organization, your current team, and the new hire. That investment can feel riskier or even scary if you have had a negative experience in the past. In the current employment environment, finding “the one” can feel daunting. Unless you need someone with specific training or credentialing, there are ways to hire with less risk and more reward.

In a perfect world, a highly qualified candidate with the exact background and training, who is ready to make a move and will accept your compensation offer would present themselves to you. They would start within two weeks of receiving the offer and continue to grow and be very happy for many years in the position. We do not live an ideal world, and there is no means of cloning your best team members, even though that would alleviate many issues with talent management.

Since recruiting utopia does not exist, let us explore the next best thing, recruiting and hiring for potential. Instead of looking for a replica of the former team member or clone of existing talent, look for candidates who have the potential and a record of achievement. These two factors are better indicators of performance than exact apples to apples experience between their past and current positions and your opportunity.

When looking to hire with an eye towards potential and capabilities, you acknowledge that all new hires will have a learning curve. Even if you were to find someone who did the same job at your competitor, there is still the learning curve of culture, clients, process, software, and any other nuances unique to your organization. In many cases, bringing on someone who needs to learn more than nuances means that they are less likely to come with bad habits. You will be able to mold and shape them into a productive contributor in no time.

Hiring for potential also allows you to consistently hire people at a slightly lower compensation that can grow as quickly as they do within the role. This strategy also has a positive effect on your current team by encouraging them to take on more significant roles within the group. By having them mentor the new hire or to take on new and more challenging tasks reduces boredom or complacency and dramatically increases retention.

Taking a risk on hiring someone who might not have all the bells and whistles you desire, but has potential and a positive track record of achievement and advancement can pay off in spades. This reward is not only in hiring a person who can learn quickly, but also in the retention benefits of having your existing team mentor your new hires.


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Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent.  Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates.  To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.